Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Can the Democrats afford Hillary Clinton?

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann think Hillary is stuck.
Politicians depend on their ability to maneuver as their most basic survival skill. Force them to stand and exchange blows without the ability to shift their ground and they are as helpless as a kitten.

Presidents fail as well when they get stuck and can no longer maneuver, as with Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam, Richard Nixon on Watergate, Jimmy Carter on the hostages in Iran, Ronald Reagan on Iran-Contra, George H.W. Bush on taxes, Bill Clinton on Monica Lewinsky and George W. Bush on Iraq.

Now, Hillary Clinton is stuck over her emails.

Her ability to maneuver on the issue is lost and comes down to a simple mantra: “I erased the emails. There’s nothing there you wanted to see. Trust me.”

...And Democrats have to win in order to survive. Politics, for them, is no spectator sport. It’s their living, their entitlement checks, their government handouts. They cannot afford, literally, to lose.

Clinton may become a luxury they cannot afford.
Read more here.

Do babies have a right to be free from decapitation and dismemberment?

On March 20 I wrote about a woman who lured a pregnant woman to her apartment by posting an ad on Craig's List ostensibly to sell baby clothes. When the woman arrived, the other woman stabbed the pregnant woman and cut the baby out of her womb. This happened in "progressive" Boulder County, Colorado, where babies in wombs are not considered to be persons, so the woman will not be charged with the murder of the baby.

Matt Walsh picks up the story:
Yet most of the people insisting that gays have a right to cake will not argue for, and in fact will viciously oppose, the basic right to life for infant children. The dead bodies of children pile up all around us, and all these clowns can do is whine about their right to pastries.

It’s preposterous. Also, deplorable, barbaric, and evil. We have a right to PRODUCTS but a baby has no right to be free from decapitation and dismemberment?

...Unless it can be proven that the infant took a breath outside of the womb, the law does not consider her a person. Of course, the police report says the “fetus” gasped for breath, and emergency room personnel said she was “viable,” but none of this can be proven, so as far as Colorado is concerned, she wasn’t a person.

But why should her personhood be hinged on whether she took a breath outside of the womb in the first place? Are hospital patients who require ventilators not people? If I hold my breath, do I forfeit my humanity for those brief moments? And if breathing outside of the womb is the completely capricious standard for “personhood,” and if that made sense, which it emphatically doesn’t, then what was she if not a person?

...Indeed, as babies are explicitly excluded from basic legal protections and the most fundamental of human rights, the attention of the country focuses on a religious freedom bill, passed last week, which might, in some limited circumstances, interfere with a gay couple’s ability to procure baked goods. Liberals throughout the land are frantic over the prospect that homosexuals may possibly, in some potential situations, experience the moderate nuisance of a business owner declining to participate in their gay wedding.

Cakes for gay people, that’s the issue of the day. The widespread legalization of child murder? Well, why would anyone be upset about that?

...You need to understand how astonishingly incomprehensible progressivism is. In their minds, there exists the fundamental human right to a wedding cake, but not to life itself. If a man is refused a pastry, a crime against humanity has occurred. But if, in the womb, his spinal cord is severed, his body dismembered, and his lifeless carcass thrown in a dumpster, nobody can be accused of infringing on his liberty.

...So whatever supernatural force bestows us with our right to commodities, this omnipotent being did not, it turns out, also give us the right to exist to begin with. You have the right to have, but not to be, which seems like a logistical complication considering the minor difficulty of having something when you aren’t something. Might abortion be opposed, then, on the grounds that murdering a child will impede his right to eventually have his gay wedding catered by the business of his choosing?

I suppose that’s a path pro-lifers haven’t explored.

Speaking of which, interestingly, we’re told gays have the right to marry and buy cakes and so forth because gay is not a choice. And gay is not a choice, they say, because gays are gay from birth. And if gays are gay from birth, then the matter is genetic, and if it’s genetic then gays are gay even before birth. But if gays are gay before birth, then it would seem that they were them in the womb. In other words, whatever their nature is, their essence, they had that, they were that, in the womb. And if they are now what they were then, and were then what they are now, then either they’re people now and they were people then, or they weren’t people then and they aren’t now.

...The moment you say “I was X since before I was born,” you are admitting to the rather unavoidable truth that you were you before you were born.

...I’m picking on Colorado, but they aren’t unique in their horrific, cruel dehumanization of children. Babies aren’t considered people anywhere in the country. Planned Parenthood murders over 300,000 of these mysteriously unhuman creatures every year, and does so with not only the approval of the government, but with considerable financial support.

(However, destroying unborn bald eagles is still a federal crime, carrying a sentence of two years imprisonment. Apparently, an eagle is an eagle from the moment of conception.)

...In all 50 states, unborn children are offered fewer legal protections than pit bulls, polar bears, and spotted owls. Consequentially, about 60 million have been exterminated in this country since 1973, and not a single murder charge was handed down. Sixty million. Think of the Holocaust repeated every decade for one hundred years. That’s the body count we’re dealing with. Only, many of the German Nazis were eventually tried and executed for their crimes, while the American Nazis are treated to banquets with the president.
Read more here.

I survived a TSA patdown

"Hold out your hands, please," said the nice young man. He then ran a little device over my hands and asked for backup assistance. A very business-like woman told me that my hands had tested positive for explosives residue. Right away I realized what it was: for five days I had been using organic dish soap at my kids' house in New Mexico. I told the young man that, and his reply was, "Organic? That should have been better than regular dish soap."

I replied, "Yes, you would think so, but it is not. I regularly use the Walmart Great Value dish soap for sensitive skin, and it doesn't shrivel up my skin like that organic dish soap. See how wrinkly my hands are?" He wasn't buying it, and called three big burly men over. They asked me to take everything out of my pockets, take off my belt and shoes, and go into a scanner and raise my hands high.

When I did that, things got worse. It seems my shirt had made yellow spots in three or four places on their screen. "Oh, I said, I can explain. You see, where I have been living the last five days, they do not have a dryer. It's on a mesa top near Santa Fe. After I washed my clothes, I hung them out to dry on a fence." I thought to myself, maybe the wind blew in some radioactive particles from the Los Alamos Nuclear grounds. The men took me to a private screening room.

Then they found three suspicious bottles: Sinus Rinse. The man was now getting a look of concern on his face. I said, "It's just water, salt, and baking soda." He asked, "Why does it have a hole in the top of each bottle?" "That's where you squirt it into your nose," I answered. "It really works. Try it the next time you have any problems with your sinuses."

After patting me up and down and sideways, they let me proceed to my waiting flight. When I saw smiles replace their looks of deep concern, I thought it might be a good time to share with them something I had read on the internet, probably at Chateau Heartiste. "You know, we could replace all the TSA employees and machines if the airlines would just seat all the alpha males in aisle seats and tell them to look for anyone acting suspiciously." Then it hit me: there probably aren't enough alpha males left to fill the aisle seats.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Capitulating in secret

Bret Stephens believes,
The Obama administration refuses to negotiate openly, lest the extent of its diplomatic surrender to Iran be prematurely and fatally exposed.

...Some readers may object that Iran has made its own significant concessions. Except it hasn’t. They may also claim that the U.S. has no choice but to strike a deal. Except we entered these negotiations with all the strong cards. We just chose to give them up.

...Nearly a century ago Woodrow Wilson insisted on “open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in public view.” Barack Obama prefers to capitulate to tyrants in secret.
Read more here.ap

Is it an economic suicide pact? Hardly!

Heather Mac Donald writes,
The chance that Silicon Valley can preserve its ruthlessly meritocratic culture under a continuing feminist onslaught is slim.
Ms. Mac Donald asserts that there is a feminist vendetta against Silicon Valley tech firms, and
That vendetta is based on the following conceit: Businesses refuse to hire or promote top-notch employees who would increase their profits, simply because those employees are female. Reality check: Any employer who rejects talent out of irrational prejudice will be punished in the marketplace when competitors snap up that talent. For the feminist line of attack on Silicon Valley to be valid, every tech firm would need to be conspiring in an industrywide economic suicide pact.

...Even leaving aside market pressures, the claim that any high-profile company today would discriminate against highly qualified females defies political reality. Every elite business is desperate to hire and promote as many women as it can to fend off the gender lobby. Women who deny that their sex is an employment asset are fooling themselves.

...Too many females, however, have been taught to see themselves as perpetual victims of the patriarchy.

Heather says there is a
trendy academic theory of “microaggression”—a word that refers to racism and sexism that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

...All else being equal, any economy that can escape the clutches of identity politics will enjoy a vast advantage. As an insurance measure against future competition from still-meritocratic cultures, perhaps the U.S. should institute this rule: For every foreign scientist we train in our graduate schools, the scientist’s home country must enroll another of its students in an American gender-studies department—who would then be sent home to enlighten the populace in the nuances of gender equity. That would level the playing field.
Read more here.

Flipflopping


There's young Bill Clinton with Al Gore and Chuck Schumer proudly standing behind him, as he signed the Religious Freedom Act in 1993. Photo by National Archives
James Taranto reveals how the left has flipflopped and now opposes Indiana signing on to a religious freedom law similar to ones that had been signed by 19 states before Clinton signed it in 1994.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 was passed, with broad bipartisan support, by a Democratic Congress and signed enthusiastically by President Clinton. In 1998 the Illinois Senate passed the state’s own version of RFRA, 56-0, with Sen. Barack Obama not just present but voting “yes.” Connecticut had enacted a RFRA in June 1993, even before the federal government did. As the Washington Post reports, a total of 19 states passed RFRA laws before Indiana did, usually with little controversy.

Yet the left is enraged at Indiana. “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today,” tweets Hillary Clinton, Bill’s better half. “We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love.” The Hill reports that the White House—now occupied by that erstwhile Illinois state senator—“on Tuesday blasted Indiana’s religious freedom law.”

...the left’s hatred of RFRA is about preserving the authority of the cake police—government agencies determined to coerce bakeries, photo studios, florists and other small businesses to participate in same-sex weddings even if the owners have eccentric conscientious objections.
Read more here

HIDING a lot

After having been Bill Clinton's most significant political advisor, Dick Morris knows Hillary Clinton. Today Morris's wife Eileen McGann listed 20 reasons why Hillary would wipe her server clean:
Hillary is a hoarder. So is Bill. So if she actually removed everything from her server, she had to be convinced that it would be more dangerous to keep the emails than to ride through a scandal, no matter how rough.

This scandal isn’t about Hillary’s privacy, it’s about her self-preservation. So here’s what would make her do it:

1. The emails contained damaging information about Benghazi that conflicted with her testimony and statements.

2. The emails — and those of her closest aides — showed her improper use of her position to benefit the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, Teneo, and herself.

3. If she gave the Benghazi Committee electronic access to the emails, they could easily determine whether any had been edited or altered. It would have been extremely difficult to delete just some of the information in the emails. If she tried to doctor them, the system would likely show when it was last edited. Any edits after she left the State Department would be highly suspicious and the earlier versions could probably be retrieved anyway. So, it would be much easier to give out only hard copies, which can be easily doctored without detection and which would be difficult to search electronically.

4. The emails would show the improper coordination with the Clinton Global Initiative and U.S. corporations. Huma Abedin worked for the State Department as Clinton’s right hand person, Teneo, and the Clinton Global Initiative all at once. She used one of Hillary’s private email accounts on Hillary’s server. Were her emails deleted too?

5. The emails would show just how many of her political cronies she brought into the State Department.

6. She wanted to hide any policy disagreements with Obama.

7. She wanted to hide any knowledge of and role in the NSA spying on foreign leaders.

8. She wanted to conceal efforts to topple pro-democracy regime in Honduras and restore a would- be dictator.

9. She wanted to hide efforts to arm Syrian rebels.

10. She wanted to hide her push to keep Egypt President Mubarek in office.

11. The emails would show her back channel Benghazi “intelligence” briefings from Sidney Blumenthal and any responses, and…

12. Conceal her role in postponing signing the UN Arms Control Treaty until after the 2012 election, and…

13. Conceal her opposition to designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, and…

14. Hide her comments critical of Israel in the settlement controversy, and…

15. Conceal her position on troop surge for Afghanistan, and…

16. Hide her support for accommodation with China despite its well documented human rights abuses, and…

17. Conceal her comments on the DEA Fast and Furious program and its impact on US-Mexican relations, and…

18. Hide what we were doing in Benghazi in the first place, and…

19. Conceal the possible role disgraced former NSA advisor — and Hillary pal — Sandy Berger played in advising her, and finally…

20. Because she’s Hillary Clinton and she doesn’t have to do anything that she doesn’t want to do.
McCann concludes
Given the highly suspicious timing of the mass deletions -- about two years after she left the State Department -- the only inference that can be drawn about why she dumped the documents is that she was HIDING a lot. There's just no way to conclude otherwise. It's typical Hillary. Do we need four more years of her messes?

Monday, March 30, 2015

How do you respond in the face of those who grow in resentment of you?

Ann Voskamp asks a good question today:
How in the world do you grow in grace in the face of those who grow in resentment toward you?

And it doesn’t make one iota of difference if you’re living in the middle of global war zones or some battle zone in your own church, community, kid or marriage — or if you’re fighting a battle inside yourself — you can either ruminate like a beast over the injustice of it all, till you feel some literal heartburn and the scorch of the whole thing searing off real layers of your soul — or you can plow the pain into purpose.

Channel negativity into creativity.

Don’t pick a side. Pick a person — the Person of Jesus. And go pick His ways.

Where there’s conflict — we don’t have to condemn the other, we don’t have to curse the future, we don’t have to circumvent the circumstances.
Where there’s conflict, there’s an opportunity — to practice being like Christ.

The world would change if, like Jesus, we chose
a donkey over a steed,
a cross over a crown,
a palm branch over bitterness,
and grace over guilt.
Read more here.onflict

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mark Steyn's tale of two rapes

Mark Steyn writes about the fake rape story that Rolling Stone Magazine devoted 9000 words to.
Meanwhile, what of an actual rape victim who couldn't get her story told by CNN or anybody else? Breitbart reports:

CBS News 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan is back in the hospital in Washington, D.C., due to years-long complications stemming from the brutal sexual assault she endured in Egypt while covering the Arab Spring in early 2011...

"Very few people know how stoic and incredibly tough this lady is. In spite of everything she's had to face in the last two years, people have no idea the physical suffering she has been enduring due to the brutal sexual assault she encountered in Egypt during the Arab Spring while reporting for 60 Minutes," Ed Butowsky, a close friend and confidante of Lara and her family, told Breitbart News.

Lara Logan's "assault" - for some reason, the same people willing to expand the definition of "rape" to include utter fantasy are reluctant to apply the word to what happened to Miss Logan - at any rate, her "assault" took place in Tahrir Square just after Mubarak's resignation and at the height of the western media's delirious jubilation at the "Facebook Revolution". Jackie's "horrific gang rape" didn't happen, but to the media it's true because it fits the narrative. Lara's actual gang rape is true but to the media it didn't happen because it doesn't fit the narrative.

...~Incidentally, an hour after Mubarak fell, I was on air with Megyn Kelly and described what was happening as "the unraveling of the American Middle East". I'll stand by that, too. On Sunday the last US personnel abandoned yet another imploding Arab state, where yet another franchise of the jihad frolics and gambols through yet another abandoned US diplomatic compound, gleefully firing into the air the state-of-the-art weaponry we left behind.
Read more here.

Spring Break in the Land of Enchantment.

I am thoroughly enjoying Spring Break with my kids. I am also enjoying the clear blue skies around Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Santa Fe itself, though, is a different matter. The capital city of New Mexico is known for its adobe architecture. Every building in the city looks the same. After a while that must have an effect on the people who live there. Conformity in architecture surely leads to other conformities. You have to drive outside Santa Fe to see some individuality in the architecture. Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to read that I prefer individuality.

Think of New Mexico, and you think of Indian reservations. The touristy area of Santa Fe is in the center of town, I think, called The Plaza. There you can see Indians displaying their jewelry, paintings and rugs in the shade, where it is not warm. All are wearing heavy sweaters and coats. In the middle of the area is an ugly monument to the killing of Indians in the 1860s.

Being a politically correct city, of course, means no plastic bags. That has been the law here for about a year, they tell me. The cashier at Walmart was not happy about it. I asked him why, and he said that the paper bags are just harder to load than the plastic bags were. Not that the elitists are one bit concerned about the feelings of a Walmart cashier. Yes, I shop at Walmart, because I buy a lot of produce, and their prices are definitely lower.

We finally had enough of the Plaza when the woman walked by with her dog in dreadlocks, as we were viewing some paintings of a female artist, who modestly claimed that her art came directly from her soul. And, yes, you read that right, it was the dog who had dreadlocks.

Did I mention that there are no cops in Santa Fe? No, in big letters on the sides of their cars, it says PUBLIC SAFETY AIDE.

The sky is rapidly clouding up, so I'm hoping we may see one of those famous New Mexico sunsets tonight.

Drown out the negative self talk

Seth Godin writes about an important topic today: self talk.
There's no more important criticism than self criticism.

There's no amount of external validation that can undo the constant drone of internal criticism.

And negative self talk is hungry for external corroboration. One little voice in the ether that agrees with your internal critic is enough to put you in a tailspin.

The remedy for negative self talk, then, is not the search for unanimous praise from the outside world. It's a hopeless journey, and one that destroys the work, because you will water it down in fear of that outside critic that amplifies your internal one.

The remedy is accurate and positive self talk. Endless amounts of it.

Not delusional affirmations or silly metaphysical pronouncements about the universe. No, merely the reassertion of obvious truths, a mantra that drives away the nonsense the lizard brain is selling as truth.

You cannot reason with negative self talk or somehow persuade it that the world disagrees. All you can do is surround it with positive self talk, drown it out and overwhelm it with concrete building blocks of great work, the combination of expectation, obligation and possibility.

When in doubt, tell yourself the truth.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Not just hard, but impossible

The New York Times wants leniency for Bowe Bergdahl. James Taranto comments at The Wall Street Journal,
The paper concludes that “trying him . . . stands to accomplish little at this point.” Further: “A conviction would most likely deprive a traumatized veteran of benefits, including medical care, which he will probably need for years. A dishonorable discharge would make it harder to rebuild his life as a civilian.” Time noted last year, but the Times editorial omits, that “six soldiers . . . died hunting for him after he went missing.” Rebuilding their lives isn’t just hard but impossible.
Read more here.

Alternative words to describe Hillary

Hillary's team has put out a warning to the media not to use certain terms in describing Hillary. Well, okay then, we'll be very careful! Two guest bloggers at Bob's Blog have submitted alternative words to describe Hillary.

Lt. Col. Curt Dale suggests,
predatory, oily, abiding, ruthless, obsequious, fawning, manipulative, gold digging, entrapping, a Black Widow, scheming, conniving, hysterical, premenstrual, and a Dragon Lady.

Suzann Darnell has this to say:
It Isn’t Sexist to Describe Someone Accurately!

The terms Hillary’s folks have deemed sexist include: polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over-confident, and secretive. I totally understand why they want to make these descriptive terms out of bounds. Most of them are extremely negative. Particularly when attached to someone like Hillary Clinton. Or Barack Obama. Or Nancy Pelosi. Or . . . almost any other leading Democrat I can think of on the spur of the moment.

But, these terms are not just negative. They are TRUE! Hillary is polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over-confident, and secretive. It has been made more than apparent in her past and present that she has very little in the way of regard for ethics and her moral compass is so skewed as to be completely useless, except for circling right back around to exactly what she’s done before.

So, what would make us think she’d be any different in the future? Especially with even more power? I think she would only be more untrustworthy. Some people just seem to be poster-children for old adages like, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think this would be Hillary to the max!

But, I think the list of nine words is vastly incomplete. In addition to all of the above, she is hateful, arrogant, incompetent, ruthless, manipulative, and the list can go on and on and on and . . . In short she is a complete witch (I used this word instead of the other one) who will lie, cheat, and steal to get what she wants and protect her hindquarters. If Benghazi is any indication, she might well even kill.

FBI disrupts plot to kill scores at Illinois military base

Adam Goldman reports at The Washington Post this morning that
The FBI has disrupted a plot to kill scores at a military base on behalf of Islamic State.
Read the story here.

Thanks to Instapundit

Egypt-Saudi invasion of Yemen imminent

The American Interest informs us this morning that an Egypt-Saudi invasion of Yemen is imminent.
the AP reports:

Egyptian security and military officials say Saudi Arabia and Egypt will lead a ground operation in Yemen against Shiite rebels and their allies after a campaign of airstrikes to weaken them.

American Interest adds:
The Egyptians’ decision to return to Yemen, which is essentially their Vietnam, is extremely significant. It reflects both enormous fear on the part of the Sunni powers and the strength of the Saudi-led alliance.

Events in Yemen continue to accelerate much faster than many experts predicted, and the potential for widespread sectarian war between Sunni and Shi’a grows more acute by the day. In some ways this portends even more trouble than ISIS’s fight against Iran’s proxies in Syria and Iraq: that fight is both bloody and strategically important, but ISIS is also an enemy of the Sunni powers (whose rule it wants to overthrow). Now, the Saudis and their allies are clearly prepared to confront Iran’s allies head-on.

The price of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive failure of strategy in the Middle East may be very high.

Thanks to Instapundit

Start small

Seth Godin often reminds that we may be overlooking the obvious. Today he writes about hypergrowth.
Fast growth comes from overwhelming the smallest possible audience with a product or service that so delights that they insist that their friends and colleagues use it. And hypergrowth is a version of the same thing, except those friends and colleagues quickly become even bigger fans, and tell even more people.

Often, we get sidetracked when we forget about "smallest possible." If you make the audience you're initially serving too big, you will dilute the very thing you set out to make, avoid critical mass, and compromise the magic of what you're building. You'll make average stuff for average people instead of something powerful for the few.

By "smallest possible" I don't mean, "too small." I mean the smallest number that eventually leads to the kernel of conversation that enables you to grow.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fishing for space junk

The problem:
Just a single centimeter-sized screw could hit a spacecraft with the impact of a hand grenade.

Space junk travels at speeds up to 17,500 mph – this velocity means just a teeny tiny piece of junk, like a fleck of paint, could damage a spacecraft or satellite.

Abandoned spacecraft, launch vehicle stages, and mission debris are just a few of the sources of junk large and small.

Some of the stuff up there is several tons and, clearly, a collision would have serious results. Some debris, such as batteries and leftover fuel, could also be explosive as a result of solar heating.

One collision could even produce a chain reaction of further collisions.

For example, a defunct Russian satellite collided with and destroyed a U.S. Iridium commercial satellite in 2009. This collision added more than 2,000 pieces of trackable debris to the space junk problem.

In another example, when China deployed a missile to destroy a satellite in 2007, an additional 3,000 pieces of debris was added to space.
The Solution:
Fishing. Recent tests for space age ‘space nets’ by the European Space Agency have proved very successful.

While fishing nets have been in use for several thousand years, space nets take this this ancient piece of technology to a whole new level.

The hope is that nets could be deployed to capture and remove space threats. The ESA announced that its cutting-edge nets passed orbit testing with flying colors this week.

To test the nets in a space-like atmosphere, Canada’s Falcon 20 aircraft flew parabolic arcs. Each arc provided 20 seconds of weightless conditions as the plane fell through the sky and cancelled out gravity.

Over the course of 21 parabolas and two days, twenty net tests were conducted inside the aircraft.

The rainbow-colored nets were packed inside paper cartons. Each corner was weighted to help it entangle its target. A compressed air ejector shot the net at a satellite. The thinner version of the net proved more successful than the thicker one.

The ESA reported that the nets worked so well that they usually had to be cut away with a knife.

The National Research Council of Canada, Poland’s SKA Polska and OptiNav and Italy’s STAM were involved in the ESA project.
Read more here.

Thanks to Instapundit

What is known so far about the co-pilot of the Germanwings Airbus

Josie Ensor and David Lawler have extensive coverage in The Telegraph and Tom Porter in International Business Times about Andreas Lubitz, the 27-year-old co-pilot who "intentionally killed" 150 people by crashing the plane he was flying into the Alps. Here are two photos of him, for those of you who claim to be able to figure people out by looking at their photos.


Read The Telegraph coverage here.
I am flying tomorrow to spend Spring Break with my kids. I will be sure to establish eye contact with the pilots, if I have the opportunity.

Pentagon declassifies details about Israel's nuclear program

Here is another topic that the mainstream media has missed:
(The) Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel's sensitive nuclear program, (but) it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.

Israelnationalnews.com reveals:
In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.
Read more here.

the renewable-fuel standards mandating ethanol is "one of the worst examples of corporate welfare in America."

Betsy Newmark notes that the Renewable Fuel Standard law
doesn't achieve its stated purpose and has all sorts of pernicious unintended consequences. Rather like Obamacare.
Read more here.

The Obama Doctrine for the Mideast

Max Boot describes the Obama doctrine for the Mideast:
Call it the Obama Doctrine: The U.S. puts down the burden, and Iran picks up the slack.

A corollary to Mr. Obama’s vow to make the “tide of war” recede is his determination, if forced to fight, to employ air power alone. The U.S. took part in the NATO air campaign to depose Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but afterward Mr. Obama refused to send a peacekeeping force, a decision that has consigned the country to anarchy. Now Mr. Obama is launching airstrikes against Islamic State while refusing to commit to any ground troops—even though they are essential to ensuring the success of airstrikes.
Read more here.

Deserting

The Wall Street Journal also weighs in on the Bergdahl fiasco:
At the time of the release, Mr. Obama said he had a sacred obligation as Commander in Chief to do everything possible to bring the sergeant home. Maybe so, but the President made his real motives clear when he noted that the transfer was part of “the transition process of ending a war” and that he wanted to “whittle away” the number of Gitmo detainees. That, he told NBC, “is going to involve, on occasion, releasing folks who we may not trust but we can’t convict.”

This is the language of a President more concerned with pursuing his ideological fixations, and fulfilling a misbegotten campaign pledge, than winning a war or securing the country....

Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan shows no sign of ending, while an emboldened Taliban can look forward to getting their old commanders back after their obligatory year in Qatar ends in June. Sgt. Bergdahl will now face a court martial, but we already know that the White House is guilty of deserting its obligations to U.S. security.

Fairy tale

Tom Bevan comments on the Bergdahl fairy tale:
far from the fairy tale of a hero’s homecoming that President Obama tried to spin for the American people that Saturday morning 10 months ago, this story doesn’t have a happy ending for America. In his effort to empty the Gitmo detainee facility, the president traded five hard-core terrorists for a man who now stands officially accused of abandoning his fellow soldiers. He very may well be court-martialed and spend a good deal of his life behind bars. It’s the Taliban 5 who, beginning in just a few short weeks, get to live happily ever after.
Read more here.

Do we know our destination?

A person named Jonah comments on a Steve Sailer piece:
hypergamy – the propensity for women to “marry up”, and the willingness of men to “marry down” in favor of looks or other non IQ traits...

...And yes, the math checks out. Dumb, low status men, and ugly smart women are more frequently shut out of the marriage game than their gender opposites.
Chateau Heartiste adds,
High achieving men experience a gradual increase in their SMVs peaking at right about the time same-age women’s SMVs are crashing into the Wall. Many of these men go on to second or third younger wives, and produce second or third families of scions.
(SMV is Sexual Market Value).

CH (he loves to abbreviate) concludes:
What was once common — a vital middle class distinguished by fathers smarter and higher achieving than mothers — has become a curiosity gawked at by the destroyers of harmony.

We know our trajectory. What we don’t know is our destination. So certain are you that a bright, sunshiney day waits at the end?
Read more here.

Who is smarter, your mom or your dad?

Laws of nature

1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability- The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Supermarket Law - As soon as you get in the smallest line, the cashier will have to call for help.

6. Variation Law -If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

7. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11. Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument-Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

16. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

17. Oliver's Law of Public Speaking- A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy -As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors' Law- If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better... But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick. This has been proven over and over with taking children to the pediatrician.
Thanks to Curt Dale

If it's worth listening to, it's worth questioning until you understand it.

Seth Godin says there are two kinds of listening.

The kind of listening we're trained to do in school and at work is passive listening. Sit still. Get through it. Figure out what's going to be on the test and ignore the rest. Your eyes can glaze over, but don't let it show. Try not to nod off. People are talking, and they'd like the illusion of listening to accompany that. Don't interrupt.

Passive listening is letting the other person talk.

Active listening, on the other hand, requires that you interrupt when you need a clarification, and it requires that you ask a truly difficult question when the speaker is finished.

If it's worth listening to, it's worth questioning until you understand it.

Cruz and Walker can win

Dick Morris believes Ted Cruz can become the next president. He is also impressed with Scott Walker. Both men will be attacked by the leftwing media. However, both will be able to fire up voters who stayed home the last two elections. Watch the Morris video here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A farmer's legacy

Do you know the name Norman Borlaug? He is credited with saving one billion lives. Don Surber writes:
The way to fight diseases that attack wheat and other cereals was not through pesticides and the like, but rather through breeding. Spoiled, rich liberals today pooh-pooh and demonize GMO food, but mankind has been modifying plants since the dawn of civilization. Indeed, it is what led to civilization. We call it farming.
Surber quotes Sailil Singh:

Paul Ehrlich, who famously wrote in The Population Bomb, his 1968 bestseller: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over," and "In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Ehrlich also said, "I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971." He insisted that "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980."

Little did Ehrlich know that Borlaug and his team were already engaged in the kind of 'crash program' he had declared would never work. Working in Mexico, they had developed a special breed of dwarf wheat that resisted a wide spectrum of plant pests and diseases and produced two to three times more grain than the traditional varieties.

C. Subramaniam, then minister of Food and Agriculture in India, came to know of Borlaug's work. It was transparently obvious to him that this was the answer to India's crisis. Acting with great urgency, the Indian government took the plunge, and several chartered Boeing 707s loaded with 16,000 metric tonnes of seeds of the new 'miracle wheat' headed for the eastern skies.

Borlaug's team began teaching local farmers in the region how to cultivate this new strain of wheat properly, in both India and Pakistan. Borlaug's work is credited with sparking what has come to be known as the "Green Revolution" in these countries, defying all predictions and achieving an astounding increase in the production of wheat within the span of a few years.
Read more here.

The Chairless Chair


The Chairless Chair is an exoskeleton that allows workers to sit without straining their muscles. Audi

Liz Stinson writes at Wired about the Chairless Chair.
Created by Swiss startup Noonee, it’s a hydraulic powered chair that lends lower-body support to people who have to stand all day long. You can think of it as a really bad-ass wearable or an especially lame exoskeleton.

The design is straightforward: A titanium frame hugs the back of the worker’s leg like a flexible brace, while a support belt is strapped around their torso. Workers can stand and walk like normal, but when they want to sit, pushing a button locks the frame into place at the desired angle. The weight the body is transfered through the frame to the floor or the heels.
Read more here.

Thanks to Instapundit

It's not the size of her butt

It's the specific angle of spinal curvature that men find attractive.
Chalk up male preferences for women with a curvy backside to prehistoric influences.

A study, published online in Evolution and Human Behavior, investigated men's mate preference for women with a "theoretically optimal angle of lumbar curvature," a 45.5 degree curve from back to buttocks allowing ancestral women to better support, provide for, and carry out multiple pregnancies.This morphology and men's psychological preference toward it have evolved over thousands of years, and they won't disappear over night.

"This tight fit between evolutionary pressures and modern humans' psychology, including our standards of attractiveness, highlights the usefulness that an evolutionary approach can have for expanding our knowledge not just of the natural sciences, but also the social sciences

Read more here.

Sure enough, we traded five top jihadists for a deserter



Thanks to Instapundit

Scott Johnson weighs in at Powerline:
It remains a bad deal wrapped in deceitful rhetoric and a complete humiliation of the United States

Recalling Obama’s and Rice’s praise of the deal, we see that they are willing to say anything in defense of a bad cause. We already knew that, but there is much more to come.
Read more here.

Pilot locked out of the cockpit in Alps crash

"You could hear him trying to smash the door down." Thomas Houston at Popular Mechanics has the story here.
thanks to Instapundit.

Scott Walker: winning without caving

Tonight Hugh Hewitt interviewed Governor Scott Walker. I am sure the interview will be up soon on Hugh's website, if it isn't already. I am impressed with Walker. I'd put him at the top of the list of GOP candidates right now. Despite all the battles he has had with the left in Wisconsin, he still reaches across the aisle to Democrats to get things done.

Update: The interview is here. An excerpt:
Part of what you see here is the old Lenin adage that you probe with bayonets. If you find mush, you proceed. If you find steel, you withdraw. Well, in Ukraine, he’s found mush, and he’s found mush not only from the United States, but from others like, others and NATO partners out there. If it were to extend, and my belief is we need a president who’s going to act aggressively by giving lethal force to the Ukrainians and others to try to preempt that from happening. But a couple of weeks ago, I met with the president of Estonia. Certainly, we saw a week ago the Lithuanian leadership is literally giving out literature telling their own citizens what to do if Russians invade. Latvia, I just talked to someone the other day whose mother immigrated here from Latvia, and in each of those Baltic states, there are real serious concerns about what happens if we don’t deal with this in Ukraine. We need American leadership not just for America’s sake, but for the world.

...don’t personalize your differences, because your opponent today may be your ally tomorrow. And so that doesn’t mean you should back away from policy. Obviously, if people watch me, I didn’t back away from the big challenges. I took on the big issues not just on public employee unions, but right to work, you name it. And voter ID just got upheld the other day. We’ve done all the big issues. But we don’t personalize it. The other side might, at least some of the activists might. But I still meet every week with the Democratic leadership in the state assembly and state senate.

The classic bully

Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal about Obama's upside-down worldview.
To adapt George Orwell’s motto for Oceania: Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory.

The current victim of Mr. Obama’s moral inversions is the recently re-elected Israeli prime minister. Normally a sweeping democratic mandate reflects legitimacy, but not for Mr. Obama. Now we are treated to the astonishing spectacle in which Benjamin Netanyahu has become persona non grata for his comments doubting the current feasibility of a two-state solution. This, while his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas is in the 11th year of his four-year term, without a murmur of protest from the White House.

...For tiring of constant Palestinian bad faith — and noting the fact — Israel will now be treated to pariah-nation status by Mr. Obama.

...Here is my advice to the Israeli government, along with every other country being treated disdainfully by this crass administration: Repay contempt with contempt. Mr. Obama plays to classic bully type. He is abusive and surly only toward those he feels are either too weak, or too polite, to hit back.

The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they may have to go rogue: Let’s hope their warnings have not been mere bluffs. Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.
Read more here.

"Being angry is their stock and trade"

Midge Decter says feminism has been a disaster for American women. More below on how feminists turned on Betty Friedan when she met a man she loved, and therefore "softened," the hookup culture, gender fluidity, and how the relations between men and women have hit bottom. What we needed to do was a lot of hard work on matters such as civil rights. We didn't do that. We looked for quick fixes, like affirmative action, and left ourselves vulnerable to those who make a racket out of racial politics. Enjoy this wonderful 87-year-old woman.

thanks to John Podhoretz

It's good to be a Bush. The Bush with balls.

Did you know that Jeb Bush calls himself an introvert? Andrew Ferguson writes today at The Weekly Standard,
It’s an odd frailty for a professional politician, and Bush says it took him years of effort to overcome his inborn shyness.

“I learned that in order to make your case, or in order to serve or in order to advance a cause, you have to connect with people,” he said earlier this year. “You have to engage with people, look ’em in the eye, connect with them on a human level, understand where they’re coming from.”

Ferguson continues on about the potential Bush candidacy,
Bush’s enthusiasm for the Common Core educational standards and his advocacy of leniency for illegal immigrants apparently mark him as a “moderate,” a designation the political press has happily taken up.

At the most recent Conservative Political Action Conference, in suburban Washington, D.C., the mention of Bush’s name produced a round of boos louder even than the catcalls that rained down after a mention of Hillary Clinton.

...To understand the strangeness of the position that Jeb Bush finds himself in, it helps to look at his record as a practicing politician—a governor. When he left office in 2007, the verdict on his tenure was unanimous among Republicans, “moderates” and right-wingers alike. Writing in this magazine at the time, Fred Barnes summed it up: After two terms in office, Bush was not only the best governor in America but also the most conservative. Moreover, Republicans assumed that he was the former because he was the latter: His success was directly attributable to his ideology. That he should now be condemned as a moderate is a new and unexpected lesson in the education of Jeb Bush.

...The fall of his senior year he enrolled in a study-abroad course with the baggy title “Man and Society,” which took him to Mexico for several weeks. There he met the sister of a classmate’s girlfriend, a 17-year-old named Columba Gallo, known as Colu, and .  .  . “Boom! I was gone,” he said later. “She was the first girl I ever loved, and the last.”

Tradition suggested that the next stop on a Bush’s itinerary was Yale, alma mater to four generations of Jeb’s family. Instead he returned to Texas, where he had spent most of his boyhood, and enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in two and a half years, with a degree in Latin American Studies. He was admitted to UT law school but says he was too eager to get on with life to spend three years studying torts. He and Colu, by then 21 and 20, were married in the campus chapel, and their first child, George Prescott Bush, arrived two years later (followed in the next few years by a sister, Noelle, and a brother, Jeb).

... His first job out of UT was as an officer, and soon vice president, of a bank founded by the grandfather of James Baker, H. W.’s closest friend. It’s good to be a Bush.

The bank job took him and his family to Venezuela for two years, and he used the opportunity to perfect his command of Spanish. Jeb’s family still speak Spanish at home; his children’s first spoken words were in Spanish. Wiseguys have often noted that Jeb speaks Spanish more fluently than some Bushes speak English.

...He settled his family in Miami and, as the vice president’s son, partook modestly of the fame that can still inflame Iowa autograph hunters; Achenbach records a lunch in the late ’80s in which Bush was interrupted by waitresses and busboys asking for immigration help. He took a job with a real estate firm owned by a supporter of his father, hustling rental contracts for corporate clients and scouting investment opportunities. Before the decade was out he was making more than a million dollars a year. By the time he ran for governor, in 1994, he was a wealthy man. By all accounts Bush made his money because he was smart, tireless, creative, unflappable, personable, and a Bush.

...But it’s the ’94 campaign for Florida governor that works as the hinge in Jeb Bush’s political life, a shift whose effects are felt even now, as he introduces himself to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Already in 1994 he had the reputation of a committed conservative with a libertarian severity: a board member of the Heritage Foundation and reader of intellectual journals like Policy Review and the American Spectator, an aspiring egghead eager to master the minutiae of government policy in hopes of undoing or reversing the ill effects of government policy. Far more ideological than either his brother or his father, he was, said the political consultant Mike Murphy, “the Bush brother with balls.”

After losing the Florida governor's race in 1994, Bush came back in 1998 to win handily. Over that four year waiting period Jeb visited 250 scools, and spent many hours sitting in juvenilte courts to learn about the child welfare system.
In fact, his platform, still festooned with white papers, changed scarcely at all between ’94 and ’98. When Bush won handily, he could rightly claim a mandate for an ambitious agenda: tort reform, tax cuts, limits on abortion, school choice, and much else. Feeney, his first-time running mate, says: “He’d realized that if you’re going to grow the party you’re going to have to bring non-hardcore nonpartisans along with you, on reforms they might not be comfortable with otherwise. It wasn’t just winning an election. It was laying the groundwork for massive conservative reform.”

“Jeb Bush is as conservative as any governor in America, and much more so than most,” wrote the journalist Tucker Carlson in 1999. “But you’d never know it unless you listened carefully, or took a close look at the bills he supports. If Bush’s legislation is radical, his tone is all accommodation and empathy.”

The Bush record in Florida is like a wish list conjured from right-wing daydreams. With Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature, “Bush made Florida into a laboratory of conservative governance,” writes Matthew T. Corrigan in Conservative Hurricane: How Jeb Bush Remade Florida, destined for now to be the definitive account of Bush’s eight years in Tallahassee.

Corrigan is a political science professor at the University of North Florida and shows every indication of having the political leanings common to his trade. He records with mounting horror the list of Bush’s successes. While Florida’s population grew by two million, the state government’s workforce declined by 13,000—the result of sweeping privatization of everything from state park maintenance to personnel management. At least one kind of state tax or another was cut every year he was in office, for a total of $19 billion. He left office with a $3 billion surplus in the state treasury. For the first time in history the state earned a AAA bond rating.

“I just think it’s humorous,” Tom Feeney says now, when reminded that lots of reporters and Republicans are calling Bush a moderate. “It’s pure revisionism for anyone to ignore the fact that he was the most conservative governor in the country.”

Ferguson goes on to document Bush's bonafides in abortion, racial policies, welfare, and gay rights, then shows how Bush reformed education. In fact, reform is just what he would like to do as president:
Why can’t presidents reform things? It seems to me there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit there: procurement policies, career civil service reform, job training programs, our public assistance programs—they’re all mired in the old way of doing things. Why can’t a president change things?”

Eventually he says: “You can be a conservative and still solve problems for people.”

Reading up on Bush’s record and talking about it with the (worshipful) people who helped make it happen, you might start to wonder: Is he pulling a Reverse Bush? For years conservative Republicans accused his father and brother of being closet moderates who only talked like conservatives for the sake of politics; the charge was generally accurate. Maybe Jeb is reversing the trick: a self-conscious, deep-dyed conservative who for the moment feels the need to look like a moderate, especially before an admiring press and in the company of the wealthy Republicans who these days are his constant companions and marks.

It’s a dicey strategy, if it’s a strategy at all. His constant refrain—he will use government according to conservative principles to help people—may fall flat in a party whose members, lots of them, don’t think they want government to help them at all; they just want it to leave them alone. Republicans still laugh at the old joke about the biggest lie: “I’m from the federal government and I’m here to help you.” Can Jeb Bush persuade them it’s not a joke after all?

His education, and ours, continues.
Read more here.
My only disappointment with this article is that it did not touch on Bush's record and views with regard to the issues of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Common Core. Those are the two issues most often cited by conservatives as the reason they oppose Bush.

Hillary can't type! She is a hunt and pecker!

The Clintons, like Obama, have thrown many people under the bus. One of those is absolutely dedicated to fighting back. I am talking about Dick Morris, who was a top Clinton adviser during the Clinton presidency. I get a kick out of reading Morris's website every day and watching his videos. Today he has this bit: Hillary can't type!
She writes everything out in longhand. Really. Anyone who has spent time in meetings with her knows about her endless yellow pads.

So her emails will most likely turn out to be very short and quick. She wouldn’t spend a lot of time pecking out long letters. No way. That’s why the Benghazi Committee needs to also look very closely at the emails on private accounts that Hillary’s closest aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, maintained. Anything more than a few lines were most likely written by someone else on her behalf. There’s a reason why Hillary set up and used private emails with them for official business: all the important emails were likely written by her staff. Without access to them, we won’t know what was going on.

The Clintons never used the White House computer for their own work. Hillary even wrote (or copied) her book manuscripts in long hand. Although ghost writer Barbara Fineman was paid $120,000 for writing It Takes A Village, she proudly waved hundreds of hand-written pages on yellow legal pads to pretend she wrote it all herself. She never acknowledged Fineman’s work.

Bill can’t type either. When I wrote his 1995 State of the Union Speech, I typed it on an IBM Selectric that the White House dug up from the basement. He told me that he didn’t want me to put it in the official computer system, because then his staff would see it.

So, he carefully copied every word in his distinctive left hand penmanship. I still have a copy of it. Then he pretended that he had written it himself.

The Clintons have figured out every which way to avoid disclosure of what they want to keep private. So don’t expect a smoking gun in Hillary’s emails.

Look, instead, to Huma, Cheryl, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines — if they still exist.
Read more here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What's in Colorado's legal pot?

Colorado's legal marijuana is three times stronger than it was a generation ago and is often contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, fungus and bacteria, a startling chemical analysis of 600 samples has found.

Additionally, modern pot has very low levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, the compound that medical marijuana advocates say gives the drug its healing properties. In most samples, the CBD levels were so small they were undetectable.

Also alarming is the fact that people using marijuana for its reported medicinal properties usually have no way of knowing how much CBD is actually in their products.

Colorado only requires marijuana dispensaries to test and advertise the levels of THC - the compound in pot that gets user 'high.' CBD and contaminant levels are not tested.

Children who are given marijuana to control epilepsy can actually be worse off because they're being given strains of the drug with virtually no CBD and high levels of THC, which can trigger seizures,
said Dr. Andy LaFrate, a Ph.D. chemist. Dr. LaFrate says
modern pot is two to three times stronger than it was a generation ago.

Even more troubling were the 200 samples of marijuana concentrates - or pot extract - that LaFrate tested. These are used to make edibles and can contain up to 90percent THC.

Because they are concentrated doses, they can also contain very high levels of heavy metals and pesticides - as the THC level is dialed up, so are the levels of background contaminants.

The solvents used like alcohol and heptane to make the concentrates also contribute startling levels of contaminants, LaFrate warned.
We can be thankful for British newspapers like the Daily Mail so that Colorado residents can learn about pot growing in Colorado!

Some good things

thanks to Ann Voskamp

Stepping up



thanks to Ann Voskamp

Are they electable?

Are Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren electable? James Taranto writes in the Wall Street Journal,
There’s one big difference, though, between Obama on the one hand and Cruz and Warren on the other. They are ideologically polarizing. So is Obama, but he wasn’t until he got elected president. For the most part, his rhetoric was vague and unifying, concealing his ideological ambitions. If it turns out Cruz and Warren aren’t electable, that may be the biggest reason.
Read more here.

Kindness was her passion



Blythe Hunt announces at Kara Tippets' blog Mundane Faithfulness that
Kara Tippetts went Home to Jesus on March 22, 2015, after a long battle with breast cancer.
Please read the rest of Blythe's words about Kara. Here is an excerpt:
Hearing a message about forgiveness prompted her to seek a relationship with Jesus, where she found total acceptance, kindness, and Grace. While she didn’t experience instant change in her life, dramatic changes were softly, slowly occurring in her heart as she trusted Christ’s love for her and allowed it to alter how she viewed the world and the people around her. She saw the difference a gentle word could make in response to an ugly remark, how an outstretched hand could break barriers of a hardened heart. Kindness became Kara’s passion; it defined her relationship with Jason, and then her four children: Eleanor, Harper, Lake, and Story Jane.

Ann Voskamp has written many times about Kara, and she adds her thoughts:
The frame around life, the death boundary around life, makes us appreciate every life as art.

We are in awe of breathing, of the gift of being, because it’s fleeting.

We love life more, the more we realize all this lovely life is transient.

...For the mortal, it feels impossible to understand the close distance of eternity.

...We must always have an imagination for the grace that will meet us.

...how to travel well, right through to the end…to the end that ushers us into the beginning forever.

...“When you come to the end of yourself, that’s when something else can begin.”

...What does it matter if we know how to live well — but not know how to die well? Especially when dying is our last act of living here?

...We needed someone to show us how and Kara taught us how to die.

...Because she’d recovered the art of living well —she had an imagination to trust that the love and beauty she had found in life would be the love and beauty that would meet her in the end.

...Sometimes the most painful chapters of our lives —- are the most meaningful chapters of our lives.

...Suffering asks us to ultimately bear under that which is ultimately not under our control — which proves we are ultimately not the ones in control.

...Suffering quietly begs us to surrender — so we can win a greater wisdom, a deeper strength, a closer intimacy.

If suffering is about bearing under — suffering is a call for us all to be a community to stand together and carry the weight of bearing under — only to find that we are all being carried by a Greater Love.

...Suffering is a call to come, to show up, to be there. Suffering can be a gift because it’s a call for presence; it’s a call for us to be present.

...Where there is suffering, there is God. And where there is God, there is redemption.

...It’s our living well that determines our dying well.

Kara sang with her babies and loved them large and relentlessly beyond the limits of herself, and was present and insisted that suffering didn’t mean the absence of goodness but rather the presence of God, and she fought to stay tender and keep a soft heart and let the echo of her laughter live long in all their souls….

...No one wants to die; life is a luminous gift that we get to take with unabashed joy instead of taking it for granted.

...While Kara escapes winter, and crosses our minds and hearts like that robin that’s a fluttering of wings just past the edge of our eyes: singing of lovely things coming, coming — just before it flies away, lovely and gone.

Just before we too will soon feel His warming Love directly on our faces —

soon, soon.
Read more here.

Sometimes we should try the difficult, rather than the easy path

Seth Godin writes,
When we intentionally seek out the difficult tasks, we're much more likely to actually create value.
Read more here.

"Winnability"

Who can excite the base, and also bring new people into the party?

$8,000,000,000 spent in 2012 on bikinis

Worn for power? Objects to be used? Can modesty be brought back? Can dignity be revealed?
How will you use your beauty?



Thanks to Scott Ott

Oh, and Chateau Heartiste asks, "Can you spot the beta male?"

Is Ted Cruz another Barry Goldwater?

In my last posts I speculated about how the media will treat Ted Cruz. I excerpted from this article by Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight. One of the things Enten said was:
And the Cruz hatred doesn’t stop at the edges of the Senate cloakroom. Influential party actors dislike him, too. I can’t remember another Republican who united Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, Jennifer Rubin and Thomas Sowell in opposition.

Thomas Sowell is someone I respect greatly. Here is what he said about Cruz:
Senator Ted Cruz has not yet reached the point where he can make policy, rather than just make political trouble. But there are already disquieting signs that he is looking out for Ted Cruz — even if that sets back the causes he claims to be serving.

Those causes are not being served when Senator Cruz undermines the election chances of the only political party that has any chance of undoing the disasters that Barack Obama has already inflicted on the nation — and forestalling new disasters that are visible on the horizon.
Read more here.

Here is what Ann Coulter says.

Here is what Pat Robertson says.

Here is what Jennifer Rubin says.

Fighting against the odds

I have been thinking about the treatment Ted Cruz is about to get from the media. So has Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight:
First, Cruz doesn’t have enough support from party bigwigs. To win the Republican or Democratic nomination, you need the backing of at least some of the party apparatus. At a minimum, your fellow party members shouldn’t hate you. Otherwise, you end up getting the Newt Gingrich 2012 treatment. That is, you get pounced on the moment you’re seen as a threat to win the nomination.



Four national live interview polls taken since December have tested Cruz in a matchup against Hillary Clinton. In each one of these polls, Cruz has done the worst of any of the possible 2016 Republican nominees. In fact, he’s trailed by an average of 5 percentage points more than the average Republican tested: CNN/Opinion Research Corp (at 6 percentage points), Marist College (at 5 percentage points), Quinnipiac University (at 3 percentage points) and Selzer (at 5 percentage points).
Read more here.

Pulling out all the stops



Is there any doubt the media will be coming after Ted Cruz now with everything they've got?
Scrappleface sets the table here.

It's not the easy way, but it is the effective way to better your lot in life

Scott Ott has a wonderful piece at PJ Media about Booker T. Washington.
These United States of America were built by men like Booker T. Washington — at first by their muscles, under compulsion, then later by their minds and hearts, freely given.

He quotes from Washington's book Up From Slavery:
"I early learned that it is a hard matter to convert an individual by abusing him..."

“I have learned,” he said, “that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.”
Read more here.

Yesterday I wrote a post defending Saul Alinsky. I wrote the post to counter some of the negative things I read about him by conservative pundits. It is guilt by association: because Obama and Hillary use some of Alinsky's tactics to promote their own rise to power, when the truth is that Alinsky was trying to empower people who were exploited and discriminated against.

Booker T. Washington had a better approach: teaching people to read, to take individual responsibility for their lives, and not to wallow in victimhood.
Update: Here is the moving video of Scott telling us about Booker T. Washington:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Imagine...

It is a time for truth. It is a time for liberty. It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States. It is a time for the media to attack a conservative with everything they've got!

My one encounter with Saul Alinsky

I think it is time to write another post in defense of Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky was a hero of mine for a time in the 1960s. First, some background.

I came of age in the 1960s. Just as it was in 2008, change was in the air all throughout the 1960s. Young Americans wanted to be involved in changing things. Folk singers like Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan inspired us. The assassination of JFK rocked us. Some of us wanted to overcome against racial discrimination. Some of us wanted to stop communism. Some just wanted to give the middle finger to the establishment, smoke pot, have sex, and run to Canada to avoid the draft.

I was raised in a conservative Republican family whose hero was Dwight David Eisenhower. Growing up in Iowa my family had great respect for the farmers who grew things. I knew no blacks, but my hero was a black basketball player. Dwight Eisenhower brought to our attention the fact that there was discrimination against blacks. It was he, remember, who sent troops into Arkansas to make sure that black children could go to Little Rock High School.

I won an athletic scholarship to attend Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. It was a school operated by the Southern Baptist Convention. I had been raised in the Methodist church. My dad was an usher. It was a very conservative, somber place where we attended every Sunday. When I got to Texas, I started to attend Baptist churches. I was amazed at the joyous singing. People really seemed to love Jesus Christ and want to follow Him. I did, too. I was baptized and immersed myself in learning about the Bible and Jesus. I took Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, as my foreign language.

To be a follower of Christ is to be radicalized. You get a different set of values. You become interested in serving others. You know a joy that permeates your life. You see things that are wrong, and you want to change them. You ask questions. One of Saul Alinsky's trademark ideas is a question mark turned upside down into a plowshare that upends settled soil. Why are there no blacks in our churches, I asked. Why are there no blacks on the basketball team? Why are there separate drinking fountains?

I enrolled in Army ROTC and completed my first two years. When my mom found out I wanted to take the advance courses in my junior and senior years, she, unbeknownst to me, contacted our family pediatrician who had treated me for severe allergies as a child. He wrote a letter to the draft board, and I was classified 4F, making me ineligible for the draft. I continued on to graduate with a B.A. degree in psychology, with a minor in history. I was elected President of the Baptist Student Union and won an award at graduation as the outstanding male graduate.

My first job out of college was as a caseworker in a child welfare department. At night I would watch the national news on television. Two topics dominated the national news, Viet Nam, and Civil Rights. Although Walter Cronkite is remembered as America's anchorman, my favorites were Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. I particularly liked Brinkley's sense of humor. However, at coffee the next morning if I would mention something I saw the night before on the Huntley-Brinkley Report, my supervisors would caution me not to watch "Frontley-Pinkley." (Frontley stood for "Communist front", and Pinkley also stood for Communist).

Then, there was the stunning assassination of JFK in Dallas. The Dallas Morning News reported that some Texans actually celebrated. I wanted out. I made plans to go to graduate school at The University of Kansas, a nice kind of halfway point compromise between Iowa and Texas.

As I began my studies to earn a Masters degree in Social Work, I learned that in that profession there were three pathways of emphasis. One was working with individual clients as a kind of junior psychiatrist. Another was to work with groups of clients. A third was community organizing. I didn't see myself as a junior psychiatrist, so I gravitated toward the groupwork and community organizing pathways.

During my second year I had a field placement at an elementary school. The principal referred to me every student who was considered by him to be a behavior problem. Instead of working one-on-one with the students, I worked with them as a group, and also with their parents. We put on a play for the school on Abe Lincoln's birthday. The baddest, biggest, blackest kid in the school was Abe Lincoln. Later in the year, a girl in the group won the school spelling bee. None of the kids' parents had ever been involved with the school, but they did begin to get involved.

After earning my Master of Social Work degree, my first job was Director of a counseling center in the Kansas City, Kansas ghetto. The funding came from LBJ's War on Poverty. My office was located in a Lutheran Church, then later in a Catholic school. The civil rights movement was in full sway. While Martin Luther King led the movement in the South, Saul Alinsky did so in the North, from Rochester, New York to Chicago, to Kansas City, to California.

Martin Luther King was assassinated. The ghettoes erupted in violence. Non-violence gave way to Black Power. On the one year anniversary of King's assassination, my wife and I crossed the bridge over to Kansas City, Missouri to go out to dinner. A police car pulled us over. We waited for a long time for the officer to get out of his car. When he finally did, he informed me that he would have to take me to the jail and book me. I asked why? He said because I had accumulated a ton of parking tickets. I told him that was not true. Then I remembered: I had cosigned for a black teen to purchase a car. The car was in my name. The boy was the son of one of my workers at the counseling center.

This was the second and last time in my life I was booked into a jail. The first time was when one day in high school a kid named Mohammed Sadden had greeted me one morning and informed me that my girlfriend was a "slut." I swung at him and we scuffled for a while before agreeing to meet each other across the street on the lawn of the Lutheran Church after school. We did, along with most of the spectating student body, and the cops were called, after about 20 minutes of our brawl.

Back to Kansas City. After being booked into jail, I was put in a "bullpen," with about fifteen other guys. A cop brought in an inebriated black man, then wound up and punched the man as hard as he could right in the gut. I asked another officer if it was true that a person could get one phone call. He said yes. I called a Methodist minister who I knew was counseling Chief of Police Kelly on how to deal with groups like the Black Panthers. He called the Chief, I was released, and the cop who slugged the inebriated black man was fired a few days later.

The Methodist minister was one of a coalition of Christian ministers who had invited Saul Alinsky to come to Kansas City. One of the main reasons was to help the community deal with incidents of police brutality. Word got out about my experience witnessing police brutality, and the man himself, Saul Alinsky, wanted to meet me. I invited him to my house for dinner, spent a very enjoyable evening talking with him, and drove him back to his hotel.

Saul Alinsky was all about the least of these, the discriminated against, the ones Jesus wanted to reach. Alinsky was about empowering people, getting them to stand up for themselves. Unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who studied Alinsky's tactics and used them to promote themselves and their own agendas, Alinsky was about empowering poor people. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have used Alinsky's tactics to make Republicans the enemy. Alinsky would come into a community, find out who was most hated, such as a Chief of Police, a Superintendent of Schools, a County Commissioner, and then purposely make himself the enemy of that hated person, thereby gaining the trust of the people he was trying to organize. Invariably, he was invited by coalitions of Christians; Catholics and protestants united, unlike Obama's promotion of ties with Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian mullahs. Alinsky died a few years after my one evening with him, and that was my last and only contact with him.

Often I read various conservative pundits writing about Alinsky. They make him out to be evil. He was not. He was a man who loved and stood with and for the least of these, the exploited and the discriminated against. Because Obama and Hillary studied his tactics and used them to promote their own rises to power, Alinsky is considered guilty by association. It isn't fair.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Don't stop working, eat well, exercise, and don't stop looking for a new girlfriend

"I'd like to show that one can learn something new at any age in life."



thanks to Ann Voskamp

Potato chips joy



Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Rationality: an alternative solution to Obama's Iran policies

Andrew McCarthy notes that
History, after all, gets revised so that those who write it can appear to have been on the right side of it.

...One must clarify whether we’re talking about when a Democratic administration was bombing a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan because it was really a joint chemical-weapons venture between Iraq and al-Qaeda; or when that Democratic administration joined Congress in making regime change in Baghdad the national policy of the United States; or when congressional Democrats insisted on voting to show their support for the war to remove Saddam Hussein from power; or when Democrats decided Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaeda after all; or, finally, when Democrats turned with a vengeance against the Iraq war they had enthusiastically supported.

...Yet, what is the president’s rationale for appeasing Iran with a disastrous deal that will enable it to become a nuclear-weapons power? It is that the only alternative to his bad deal is war.

...Iran, like Saddam’s Iraq, cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons because it is a rogue aggressor that promotes jihadist terrorism, aspires to hegemony, and serially violates its international obligations. Consequently, the U.S. national interest is that Iran’s revolutionary regime, which has killed thousands of Americans and made opposition to America its ne plus ultra for 36 years, be — as Obama is fond of saying with respect to ISIS — degraded and ultimately defeated.

...Democrats have been telling us for years that there is a smart way to do this, a way that does not call for a false choice between surrender or war. According to their “Iraq in a box” model, the administration needs to work with Congress to codify regime change as the unambiguous national policy of the United States. With that long-term goal as our compass, crippling economic sanctions must be restored and enhanced — and enforced without waiver — in order to cut off the regime’s access to the international banking system and curtail its ability to engage in commerce, especially the marketing of its oil and related products. Other countries that do business with Iran and abet its efforts to defeat the sanctions should find their own capacity to conduct business in our markets and those of our allies significantly diminished.

Actors within the long reach of our enforcement jurisdiction should be prosecuted if they trade with or materially support Iran and its agents (such as the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah). Iran itself needs to be put on notice that all options are on the table, including military attack, in response to its abetting of jihadist organizations and its refusal to dismantle its nuclear program. In the meantime, economic and logistical support for Iran’s dissidents should be substantially stepped up.

...Very simply, it should be made obvious in word and deed that we take the regime’s “Death to America” rhetoric and actions deadly seriously, that we believe the sole rational response is to treat the regime as the incorrigible enemy that it is. Iran is not the Soviet empire; it is no match for determined American opposition on the world stage. Negotiating with it as if it were is a damaging error that empowers the mullahs when they should be forced to play the weak hand they actually have.
Read more here.

The definition of insanity



Do you want to define insanity? How about negotiating with the country ruled by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said in a speech yesterday,
Death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.”
Read more here.

Ted Cruz to announce tomorrow



Senator Ted Cruz is going to announce his run for the GOP presidential nomination tomorrow at Liberty University. See how many biased statements are made against him in this article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey in the Washington Post. Do you remember the media blasting Barack Obama this way when he announced he was running for the 2008 Democrat nomination? I don't.

One of Bailey's most hilarious efforts at slamming Cruz was when she wrote this convoluted sentence:
Cruz’s views might reflect evangelicals in the pews than he would reflect many in leadership.
I think she meant to say Cruz reflects the views of Christians in the pews, but not necessarily evangelical leaders. Oh, you mean he represents we, the people? Mustn't have that now must we?

The sky's the limit!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Want to be ventilated?

NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |
Thanks to The Blaze

UN Commission on the Status of Women is a total sham

Anne Bayefsky writes a scathing indictment of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at Fox News.

Woman lures pregnant woman on Craigs List; gets her to come to her house to look at baby clothes, cuts baby out of woman's womb, pretends it is hers. Baby dies. Pregnant woman still alive. Attacker had a 19 month old son who died in shallow waters of a swimming pool.

A harrowing story out of Longmont, Colorado today:

Read more here.
Longmont is in "progressive" Boulder County, where babies in wombs are not considered to be human beings.